Archive for the ‘Poker Industry News’ Category

Dan Cates Not Allowed Into Canada

August 1st, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

What Next

With the end of the World Series of Poker many poker pros are left wondering what their next move is going to be. Some folks have elected to join the millions of other Americans in entering the workforce, and for some it is a good decision, but those pros who eat, sleep, and breathe online poker…working a 9-5 just isn’t in the cards. For those types of people, a forced relocation is what’s in store for them. Most pros are electing to move to Canada and Europe to utilize the thriving poker industry that exists in both places.

Dan Cates is one of these pros, and he tried to relocate to Canada, but is currently facing a number of problems. His journey to Canada has been documented by Dan himself via his Twitter page. His first tweet went something like this, “leaving for Vancouver tomorrow, time to crush online again.” But shortly after this, he ran into a few peoblems. He went on to tweet, “In a ridiculous twist, I have been deported from Canada for being an illegal immigrant, going to Seattle tomorrow to try to get temp visa.”

Really, Cates was not deported as much as he just was not allowed entry into the country. But this little situation may be a recurring one for many pros who are trying to relocate their careers. In a joke, Cates said that he was going to make a documentary film series about him attempting to sneak into the country…but that was nothing more than a joke.

The good thing about poker players moving to Canada is that most of these moves seem temporary. This is good for the American industry as it seems that most players are simply using Canada as a place t owait it out until the US government figures out the mess that is Black Friday.

Week(s) In Review

August 1st, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Phil Ivey News

As if we could not get enough news about Phil Ivey…there’s more. Apparently, Phil Ivey owes Full Tilt about $11 million in loans. Out of the $11 million, $6 million of it has to still be repaid. This story seems kind of ridiculous at first, but when you look into it it does not seem so crazy. Right after it was announced that Ivey was to be suing Full Tilt, the site responded by accusing Ivey of owing them a large some of money, and at the time these accusations were confusing to most but with the release of this story, they are not so unbelieveable.

David Benyamine is in the same boat as Ivey in reference to borrowed money, but his sums are not so large. What makes people angry about Benyamin is that he was able to withdraw funds from his Full Tilt account after Black Friday.

Full Tilt’s Fate…Still In Question

Last Tuesday, a hearing that took place in London was set to decide what Full Tilts’ immediate future will look like. The hearing which many people hoped would solve a lot of issues ended up doing quite the opposite. Not only was the hearing that was supposed to be public turned private, but there was never any decision actually reached. In the end, the hearing is adjourned until September, much to the dismay of people in attendance and around the world.

It is not like the end result is that surprising because by now most poker players should be used to not having their problems solved.

Going forward we can probably expect some radio silence as far as Full Tilt is concerned. But you never know.

More Findings on Ivey

August 1st, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Subject: Poker

Subject: Poker, which is a news website, has been giving us some of the best stories and information since the break of Black Friday. And to be more specific, the best information that has been given out is usually in regards to Full Tilt Poker. And without fail, they have announced more information, this time it is in regard to Phil Ivey and Dave Benyamin. The released info was the account records of both Ivey and Benyamin. These records show anything from loans, payments, and withdrawals. When talking about Benyamin, the thing that really catches most people’s eye is the fact that he had made a cash withdrawal from Full Tilt after Black Friday and from the United States…weird how that works.

But what makes people wonder about this new story is the amount and type of information that was provided. For one, this story has the records of only two players, Benyamin and Ivey, but we all know that there were plenty of other pros with Full Tilt whose records could be just as relevant and helpful. The second issue about this story is the fact that the records provided are only partial records. To quote the story from Subject: Poker, “we do not have as much data as we’d like. For example, we do not have data on most player-to-player transfers or other transactions that are done in the system without notes, we do not have much data for Ivey before June of 2009, we have two very small gaps in our coverage for Ivey, and we have a large gap in our coverage for Benyamine.”


These records are all fine and good, but they raise a lot of questions at the same time. For one, this story seems to be nothing but a hate-mongering attempt in the direction of Ivey. After all he is the focal point of most of the story, and Benyamin may have only been referenced in order to seem like the story was not only directed at Ivey.

This information that is provided may be just as flawed as this entire Black Friday situation. For one, we all know that Full Tilt was making player withdrawals look like online purchases, so to say that these “loans” were given to Ivey may be some tricky wording. What if these are just paments to Ivey disguised as loans in order to make the payment seem more legitimate. Of course this is all speculation, but the fact is that these sites have lied to us before, so there is no reason why we should trust their “leaked” information now. What kind of site that is facing this much scrutiny would even allow such important and relevant information to be leaked anyway?

PPA’s Guide to Getting Your Money

August 1st, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Online Help

The PPA, better know as the Poker Players Alliance, has announced and released a type of guide that can help direct players in getting their money back from sites that have been shut down or seized in the past quarter of a year. Unknown to many, there were dates and deadlines for players to apply to receive their money back. This comes as good news to many, but the catch is that almost no one was made aware of these dates and deadlines and now many of them are closing faster than players will be able to react. The PPA is helping the average poker player fight back by dishing out guidelines on what a player should do to get the money that they are owed.

The PPA explicitly states that they cannot directly help with filing a lawsuit against a poker site, but they are giving instructions on how to hire a lawyer to help get their money back. The downside is that these guidelines are not really going to help everyone, or even a majority of players. The PPA said that you should really only pursue this type of avenue if you have lost a great deal of cash from these situations. Players that had a small to intermediate amount of money lost should hire a lawyer and create a lawsuit at their own risk because these types of things tend to get quite expensive. And if you only lost $100 or $200, hiring a lawyer would not really make much sense.

The PPA also asks players to consider how much money they lost and how much it means to them, because in a lot of these cases it would take filing a lawsuit in an overseas court which can be quite costly as well. The very sad ending to this story is that most players who have not received any money back are probably just not going to get anything. The situation, at this point, is too big and out of hand to be handled by a simple lawsuit in a local court.

Poker Pros Moving Elsewhere

August 1st, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Out of Options

With the dismal state of online poker in the US being as it is, many poker pros have run out of viable options for playing the game they love. Since the United States currently offers very limited options when it comes to online poker, pros are looking to Canada and Europe as potential safe havens. Daniel Negreanu is one of these vagabonds, but luckily for him he is a Canadian native and it is just a move back home. Unlike the US, Canada has experienced no sanctions as far as online poker is concerned. Like the pilgrims that migrated to North America in search of religious freedom, these players are migrating to Canada and Europe in order to have the freedom of playing online poker.

Negreanu is making the move because he wishes to participate in the World Championship of Online Poker that is sponsored by Pokerstars. And because of its sponsor, the WCOP is not able to be offered to players residing in the states. Negreanu announced his decision to move back to Canada via his Twitter page. He tweeted, “Can’t wait for WCOOP’s on in September! I’ll either be playing from TO or somewhere in Europe.”

Poker players that were at one point mostly based in the US have already been moving out and that will not be stopped until there is some type of resolution to the legality of online poker in our country. Until then, players will migrate to much easier to deal with countries, as far as online poker is concerned.

Lock Poker Makes New Signings

July 23rd, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Chris Moorman

Lock Poker recently announced that it would be making additions to its team, LockPRO Elite. The additions would be two UK poker superstars. The first one of them is Chris Moorman. After an impressive run at the 2011 WSOP, Moorman gained a lot of attention. In this year’s World Series he came away with over $1 million in prize money. And on top of that he is ranked as being one of the 5 best players at this year’s WSOP. This isn’t Moorman’s first online sponsorship either, before this he was sponsored by Doyles Room which has subsequently been shut down by the US government. He is dominant both on and off line, this is evident in his lifetime winnings which exceed $7 million.

Nicky Evans

Being the lesser known of the two, Nicky Evans’ career has not been quite as illustrious as Moorman’s. But in his defense, he has only been playing poker for about half a decade now and is still fairly new to the game both on and off line. What is most impressive is that in only these few years, his total winnings are already scary close to the $1 million mark.

Evans and Moorman look to add a great deal of versatility to the Team LockPRO Elite. Moorman can bring a lot of experience to the table while Evans is in the midst of becoming a rising star. The future looks bright for both of these young players and even brighter for Lock Poker.

Cake Poker For A Good Cause

July 22nd, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Red Panda Poker

Cake Poker is an ever expanding site, and since it is one of the few options left for American players, it is also growing in popularity as well. If 75 poker rooms weren’t enough, Cake Poker announced that it would be teaming up with Red Panda Poker, their newest partner. The site has added a boatload of different partner sites, but none of them are quite like this one. Red Panda Poker is particularly interesting because it, as a site, is dedicated to helping save the endangered Red Panda. Most people do not even know that the Red Panda exists, let alone that it is endangered. This is because almost all types of pandas are figuratively and literally overshadowed by the giant panda.

There are plenty of…interesting sites out there, but this one is like no other. And quite frankly, I think it will be a hit. Because by playing the game we love, we are also able to help an endangered species that is near and dear to so many people’s hearts, especially in Asia.

The Red Panda website says:

For every hand of poker played on our site, we make a donation to protect the red panda, which is in serious danger of becoming extinct.

The red panda is a rare and beautiful animal that is regarded as a symbol of good luck in parts of Asia. The species is often referred to as the “lesser panda” in deference to the better-known giant panda.

Red pandas live only in temperate forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. Few people outside its native habitat have even heard of the red panda, let alone seen one.

We work with The Red Panda Network, which is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities.

Other popular poker rooms on the Cake Poker Network include the eponymous Cake Poker as well as Unabomber Poker.

Live Games in North Carolina?

July 14th, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Some Discussion

While the talk of getting online games legalized in the US is stealing most of the poker headlines nowadays, lawmakers in North Carolina are working to diversify their constituents’ options. This story is still very much in the preliminary stages, but it is good news nonetheless because currently there is no live poker being played at casinos anywhere in the American Southeast. The casino at the top of the discussion is Harrah’s Cherokee which is arguably the most popular casino in all of North Carolina.

The reason live games at Harrah’s Cherokee would be such a big deal would be becuase outside of underground house games, live poker is just not an option for people in the southeast. And with all of the noise coming from the online poker world, playing online is not much of an option nowadays either for most. Harrah’s Cherokee would benefit highly from the allowance of live poker games as they are the only casino serving North or South Carolina and Northern Georgia which includes Atlanta.

Why Not Legal Already?

Harrah’s Cherokee does have poker currently, but it is all electronic. And for a lot of players the lure of electronic poker only is not enough to draw mass amounts of poker players to the casino. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a deck of cards anywhere in Harrah’s Cherokee because even Blackjack is played electronically. And it is not like these electronic poker games are bad either, they actually make for a decent times, but yet again the electronic atmosphere just simply does not match that of a live game.

Since the casino is on an Indian reservation, and US law says that Indians are able to open casinos as long as the games they offer are legal in the state, it is able to even be in operation. At first, Harrah’s Cherokee was a small casino and only offered poker, bingo, and cash prize machines, but it was then realized that out of the three, bingo was the only game able to still be played. Naturally the Cherokee leaders were frustrated and sought a solution. Finally, Governor Jim Hunt said that the casino was able to offer electronic games as long as they involved skill and that there were going to be no jackpots that exceeded $25,000.

The time for live poker at Harrah’s Cherokee has come. Not only will it bring in more guests to the casino, it will also create about 400 more jobs for the casinos through dealers. This movement will face some opposition, but we hope it will succeed in the end.

Black Friday Goes to the UK?

July 14th, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Preliminary Reports

After hearing about what happened to poker in the United States on April 15th, I am sure many players from the UK and other parts of Europe were relieved to find out that it is a situation that is only affecting players in the States. But now all of the pain and inconvenience of Black Friday may be an experience for people across the pond as well.

A report in a newspaper, the Sunday Observer, broke a story about a potential change in how sites from overseas are able to gain and maintain a gaming license. There may be many new changes instituted that could greatly change the game of poker for players in the UK just like it did to players in the US. Jeremy Hunt, who is Culture Secretary in the UK, reportedly wants major changes in the licensing process and gaming rules in response to Full Tilt going down for good last week.

The quote in the Observer that got a lot of people’s attention went like this, “This highlights why the government is looking at reforming how overseas-based operators are regulated and we hope to make an announcement in the next few weeks.”

With Full Tilt still down and a lot of players left in the dark, the UK may make some serious changes in how they run and handle online poker in the future. This very well may be the beginning of another Black Friday-esque event for the folks across the pond. As always, stay tuned for follow-up stories on the matter.

Poker A Year From Now

July 13th, 2011 by Kyle Silverberg

Better Times?

With the present days and the past few months being nothing but turbulent for the game of online poker in the States, it has a lot of people looking to the future. So let’s speed things up a bit…it’s now July 13th, 2012…what does our industry look like now?

By now we hope that the whole mess surrounding Full Tilt is figured out. Who knows, in 365 days Full Tilt may have even been able to gain back a license or two and may be operational. By this time maybe all of the players that lost money are paid back in full. Sure it took them over a year and 3 months to figure it out, but no one can argue with results.

If  Full Tilt is already back up and running, that must mean that a poker bill must have been passed in Congress. There were so many proposed bills that it seemed like it would be impossible to no get at least one passed. Between Barton’s bill and the proposed AGA bill, poker is running smoothly once more.

Who knows, in a year we may even be able to have played on PokerStars. They have been indefinitely banned from the United States by the Department of Justice. In exchange for their ban, they were able to be given back their domain name and were able to start paying players back.

Who knows where the state of our game will be in a year, but after having gone through what we all have in the past three months it is hard to imagine that a year could really make things any worse. After all, a year ago i doubt anyone was predicting this kind of stuff to be happening.